Obituaries

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Sr. Agathe Berchmans

Cared for elderly

Little Sister of the Poor Agathe Berchmans (Gertrude Jane Simms), 95, died May 6. She had served at St. Mary’s Home for the Elderly in Lincoln Park since 2002.

Sister Agathe was born in Denver and left home at age 16 to join the Little Sisters. She made her first profession in 1943.

Those who knew her remember her love and sincere care for others, as well as her devoted service in whatever task she was asked to fulfill.

She is survived by her brother, Steve.

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Fr. George Auger

Congregation leader

Viatorian Father George J. Auger, 87, died June 2 at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

Father Auger had degrees in English and religious education from Loyola University Chicago and DePaul University, a teaching certificate in French/English bilingual education from the Ecole Normale in Rigaud, Canada, and a diploma in the theology of religious life from the Lumen Vitae program in Brussels.

He taught at St. Viator High School, Arlington Heights (1961-1963, 1965-1971) and was director of the retirement wing of the Viatorian province center in Arlington Heights (1996-2004). He also taught at other high schools, served in parishes in other Illinois communities and served as his congregation’s general councilor in Rome (1988-1994).

He returned to the province center from an assignment as pastor in Kankakee in 2007, and he served as chaplain for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Palatine (2013-2016).

He is survived by his brother, Paul.

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Sr. Edna Scheller

Educator

Providence Sister Edna Scheller, 88, died June 8 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Sister Edna entered the Sisters of Providence in 1950 and professed final vows in 1957.

She was an educator and health care administrator and director of transportation for her community. She ministered in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina and California.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Francis Borgia (1952-1955).

Sister Edna is survived by a brother, Thomas Scheller.

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Fr. Jerzy Gawlik

Pastor

Divine Word Jerzy (George) Gawlik, 66, died May 29. He was pastor of St. Joseph the Worker, Wheeling.

Father Gawlik was born in Brzozowice-Katowice, Poland. He made his first vows in 1976 and his perpetual vows in 1980 in Poland. Gawlik was ordained to the priesthood in 1981, also in Poland.

While ministering in Poland, Gawlik served as formation director and prefect of Divine Word Seminary in Nysa, formation director of Divine Word Mission in Pieniezno, and rector and novice director at Divine Word Mission House in Chludowo. Gawlik was also a missionary in the Philippines.

Since arriving in the United States in 2004, Gawlik served as both associate pastor and pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Parish.

Divine Word Father Quang Duc Dinh, provincial superior of the Society of the Divine Word Chicago Province, recalls Father Gawlik as a “great missionary” and a kind and gentle pastor.

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Fr. John Flavin

Pastor emeritus

Father John E. Flavin, 83, died May 30. He was a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and former pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview.

Born in Chicago, Father Flavin attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, completing his theological studies at the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome before being ordained there in 1960.

He was assistant pastor of Our Lady of Grace and St. Catherine of Siena, Oak Park. He was pastor of St. Sebastian and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

He also served on the faculty of Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, on the staff of Liturgy Training Publications and Maryhaven Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and as director of the Archdiocesan Office of Goal Setting. Father Flavin was president of the Presbyteral Senate and dean of Deaneries 3, 4 and 5 in Vicariate II, as well as the cardinal’s representative on the Pastoral Guidelines for Marriage, and had resided at St. Benedict Nursing and Rehabilitation Center since 2009.

Father Flavin had a reputation of being highly intelligent, and he was active in parish ministries. At his first parish, St. Sebastian, Father Flavin supported the parish’s Dignity Mass, bilingual Masses and AIDS hospice. At Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Flavin led various ministries to support families most in need.

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Deacon J. Frank Marquez

Class of 1972

Deacon Joseph “J. Frank” Marquez, 93, died May 18. He was ordained in 1972 and served for more than 40 years at St. Pascal Parish.

Deacon Marquez was a member of the first class of permanent deacons ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago and a U.S. Army veteran. He was an accountant and worked for Loyola University and Loyola Medical Center. 

He is survived by his wife, Sharon; children Bob, Sharon Bush, Marty, Juli, David and Amanda; and nine grandchildren.

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Sr. Ann Sullivan

Educator, administrator

Mercy Sister Ann Sullivan, 84, died April 20.

Born in Chicago, she attended Resurrection School and graduated from Siena High School in 1953. In 1955, Sister Ann entered the Sisters of Mercy.

From 1959-1969, Sister Ann taught at schools in Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford.

After leaving teaching, she worked as an administrative assistant at Misericordia for two years

She then worked as an administrator in Mercy facilities in Aurora.

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Sr. Johnette Sawyer

Educator

Benedictine Sister of Chicago Johnette Sawyer, 84, died May 2 at St. Francis Hospital, Evanston, where she had been hospitalized for three weeks after contracting COVID-19.

Sister Johnette was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and entered the monastery in 1955. She made her final vows in 1957.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Queen of All Saints, St. Hilary and St. Symphorosa, where she was also a sacristan in the parish. She ministered in the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado, from the 1960s to 2015.

She is survived by her sister, Marilyn Graybill, and her brother, John.

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Sr. Joan Gannon

Educator

Benedictine Sister of Chicago Joan Gannon, 97, died May 6.

Born in Chicago, she and her family were active members of St. Jerome Parish. After attending St. Scholastica High School, she entered the community as a postulant in 1940 and professed triennial vows in 1942.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught first grade and was parish sacristan at St. Hilary (1942-1948); taught at Mother of God, Waukegan (1948-1951); taught kindergarten at Queen of All Saints (1951-1952); performed various services at the Benedictine Monastery after losing her voice (1952-1953); taught chemistry and math and performed other duties at St. Scholastica High School (1956-1967); ministered in the infirmary (1967-1970); and worked in the language lab and business office at St. Scholastica Academy (1970-1979).

For the next 10 years, she served at several Chicago parishes, including Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Thomas Aquinas. She worked with the St. Jerome “Tip Toppers” and did several jobs in the monastery until retiring in 2014.

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Sr. Norma Thelen

Educator, gerontologist

Sister of the Living Word Norma (Jane P.) Thelen, 82, died May 9. She had been a member of the community for 45 years.

Born in Michigan, she taught in elementary schools in Illinois, Louisiana and Michigan for 25 years. She then ministered in the field of gerontology for 27 years. She retired in 2013.

She is survived by her brothers Clair and Thomas Thelen and her sisters Rose Mary Nurenberg, Virginia Drake and Linda Thelen.

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